Roundtable Applauds Governor’s Education Agenda

Roundtable Chair Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, stated that “The Governor’s budget address today strikes the important balance of needed investments in education as the primary driver of economic development strategy, as well as the tough budget decisions that we must make to keep Vermont competitive.

“We applaud the Governor’s bold education agenda as it aligns with the concerns of the Vermont Business Roundtable, and the education policy initiatives that we have sought for some time.  We Vermonters must be prepared to make tough decisions and move ahead on programs that create long-term prosperity. As a state, we will only be the best by being brave. This is a brave agenda.”

Beginning with its 1998 groundbreaking initiatives such as, “Born to Read”, which put books into the hands of new mothers and their six-week old babies; Medallion School Awards; and, Young Writers Project; and, more recently, through its recent PreK and home visiting initiatives, and Nordic Educational Trust scholarships for technical education, the Roundtable business leaders have been unrelenting in their focus on linking education with economic development outcomes. “The Governor has clearly established that he, like the Roundtable, holds the child and student squarely in the center of the policy discussion,” said Roundtable Immediate Past Chair, Steve Voigt, CEO of King Arthur Flour, who has championed PreK initiatives at the national level.

“Vermont will not have the workforce capable of meeting the challenges presented by the advances of the next 20 years until we have effective, adaptable education systems to maximize opportunities for each and every Vermont citizen, beginning with the youngest among us. This is a very positive and powerful statement by the Governor, “said Bill Stritzler, Managing Director of Smugglers’ Notch Resort, former Board Chair and Chair of the Task Force that authored the Roundtable’s seminal policy paper entitled, “Having the Courage to Change: How We Can Avoid the Coming Workforce Crisis”. That 2006 report contained a series of guidelines spanning and linking all aspects of the education continuum from PreK to post-secondary learning.

The Roundtable is a non-profit, non-partisan, civic welfare organization of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate global economic impact of $292 billion, over $1.8 billion in corporate philanthropy, and employing more than 10 percent of the state’s work force. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.